West Side Vodka Cocktail

The Employees Only version of the classic South Side cocktail, this drink replaces gin with lemon-infused vodka and adds fresh mint leaves—perfect to enjoy in the summer sun.
West Side / Photo by Aaron Graubart

Courtesy Dushan Zaric, co-founder, Employees Only, New York City

This mint- and lemon-laced drink is an Employees Only variation of the classic South Side cocktail. “We replaced the gin with Meyer lemon-infused vodka to achieve a more balanced, subtler concoction,” says Zaric. “It is, by far, the most popular cocktail served at Employees Only, and lends itself naturally to being enjoyed in the sun.”

About the Vodka

Charbay Distillery is a 13th-generation distillery in St. Helena, in the heart of Napa’s wine country. This sunny, flavored vodka is infused with Meyer lemons from California, which are shredded and extracted at the distillery. Its bouquet is heavenly.

5 Modern Updates for Your Next Vodka Cocktail
Ingredients
  • 2 ounces Charbay Meyer Lemon Vodka
  • 1 ounce fresh lemon juice
  • ½ ounce simple syrup
  • 3–4 fresh mint leaves, plus more for garnish
  • Splash of club soda
Directions

Add first 4 ingredients to cocktail shaker, and fill with ice. Shake well. Add splash of club soda. Strain into chilled, stemmed glass, like martini, coupe or wine glass. It can also be served over ice in rocks glass.

Published on July 6, 2018
About the Author
Kara Newman 
Spirits Editor

Kara Newman reviews spirits and writes about spirits and cocktail trends for Wine Enthusiast. She's the author of several cocktail books, including Shake.Stir.Sip. and NIGHTCAP: More than 40 Cocktails to Close Out Any Evening, which debuts in September 2018. Email: spirits@wineenthusiast.net



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